Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Matchbox 20: Mad Season [Atlantic, 2001]
Back when he was one more nothing bandleader riding a chart fluke, there was something likable about Rob Thomas--something common, something dork-gets-lucky. Carlos Santana changed that fast, and with this album well into its second year on the Billboard 200, Thomas is now officially a menace. He's always emoting some new excuse with his not-bad voice, and he looks like he spends a couple grand a month on haircuts alone--a neat cross between Michael McDonald and Gregg Allman who'll be doing duets for decades. Next chapter: the solo debut. C+